ChannelLife NZ - Making the most of HP’s Premier Business Partner Program

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Making the most of HP’s Premier Business Partner Program

Ben Walton started Tiger Networks with his wife Anita’s help in 1999 out of their spare bedroom.  An engineer by trade, Ben saw an opportunity in the reseller community and the company has grown to include 16 employees.
Walton’s vision for Tiger Networks is to become Australasia’s most trusted partner, and he has faith he will reach that goal due to his positive, successful relationship with HP. “Our point of difference,” said Walton, “is the guys we’ve got on board.  We don’t have any ‘back-room’ boys – they can all talk to our customers and offer solutions.”  Tiger Networks’ vision extends to its customers, as the team wants to continually help them achieve their own visions and goals.
When Tiger Networks began, Walton and his team were selling whatever solution happened to be “best” at the time, which resulted in fragmentation with the team and a lack of loyalty.  Two years ago, Walton decided to change his business strategy and now offers only HP solutions.  He says he hasn’t looked back once.
“We’re quite happy to say to customers, ‘If you don’t want HP, you need to go somewhere else’,” said Walton.  The Tiger Networks team sees HP as the only company left in the market that can provide a true end-to-end solution.  Whether the customer has a small business with five employees, or is a large corporation with employee numbers in the hundreds, Walton is confident that a complete solution can be provided via HP. 
Walton says that Tiger Networks’ customer base covers a “massive spread” from a company with three computers that grows and exports mussels to huge corporations.  “We don’t focus on any specific verticals, and no matter what requirements our customers have, HP is always able to provide the right solution,” stated Walton. 
When Tiger Networks made the decision to sell only HP products, Walton approached HP about partnering. Within six months, the company had advanced from Registered Reseller status to Premier Business Partner status, and has been an HP Premier Business Partner for almost a year. 
Kevin Klein, former HP  Partner Business Manager for HP, was Tiger Networks’ first point of contact, and he managed the account initially while HP determined the right fit.  After only a couple of short months, Walton and team were invited to join as a Premier Business Partner. 
When asked why Tiger Networks moved through the ranks so quickly, Walton responded: “Our commitment to HP earns us a lot of kudos.  We see equal commitment in return.”
HP’s Oliver Hill is now the account manager for Tiger Networks, and he visits the team on a regular basis to check in and update them on new promotions.  Walton says he is comfortable ringing Hill at any time if he is working on a big deal or needs more competitive pricing.  “Oliver is fantastic–honestly– the best we’ve worked with.  He’ll bring his laptop out to our office for a few hours at a time and just get on with his stuff, which allows time for our questions to develop.”
The benefits of the partnership are many, said Walton.  When a customer requested HP’s Sales Builder for Windows, and Walton’s team didn’t fully understand the technology, a member of HP’s enterprise team was dispatched to Tiger Networks immediately, at no charge, to teach the team how to use the software.  “The rebate scheme is nice,” said Walton, “but what’s important is the commitment we get from HP.  Someone is always available to help with the technology.”
And it’s not just technical support that Tiger Networks receives in abundance.  Full pre-sales support is available whenever it’s needed.  To fully maximise HP’s Partner Program offerings the way Tiger Networks has, Walton recommends making a strong commitment to the brand and the company as a whole.  “Attend all the briefings and trainings, and make sure you’re fully certified.  Know why you sell what you do.”
Tiger Networks is passionate about IT, which makes them a perfect partner for HP.  HP has faith in their products which inspires confidence not just in their partners, but in their customers as well. 

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